ACT Brumbies advance to Super Rugby Australia final vs Reds

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CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Winger Tom Wright and fullback Tom Banks scored tries to lead the ACT Brumbies to a 21-9 win over the Western Force and a spot in the Super Rugby Australia final.

The Brumbies will play the Queensland Reds at Brisbane on Saturday in the final of the five-team domestic competition. The Reds beat the Brumbies twice in regular-season matches.

ACT led 12-3 at halftime Saturday and any chance of a second-half comeback by the Force ended when winger Toni Pulu was red-carded for a no-arms shoulder tackle on Irae Simone that left the Brumbies center dazed. The Force played shorthanded for the next 20 minutes.

The defending champion Brumbies will have momentum on their side while Queensland hasn’t won a game since April 10. The Reds lost to the Force and had bye weekends on either side of that defeat.

“It feels good. You never get bored of it,” Brumbies coach Dan McKellar said of qualifying for the final. “Super excited for next Saturday night. This is the tough one to get through, against a side that had a bit of momentum and put us under pressure at times.”

Force coach Tim Sampson said it was a tighter match than the final score indicated.

“It was a real arm wrestle for the full 80 minutes and unfortunately we just didn’t get in any good attacking positions,” he said. “It’s going to sting, no doubt."

Queensland is looking to win its first Super title since 2011 when the competition included teams from New Zealand and South Africa. The Brumbies won last year’s final 28-23 over Queensland.

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